Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Monica H. Swahn
The association between alcohol and drug use and involvement in crime has intrigued investigators for many decades and has resulted in numerous studies. The purpose of many of these studies has been to determine whether patterns of alcohol or drug use increase the risk for criminal behavior and whether the risk for criminal behavior is greater while drinking alcohol or using drugs. Research shows that both alcohol and drug use increase the risk of different types of crimes and that there is a particularly strong and consistent link between alcohol use and violent crime. However, researchers continue to disagree about the extent to which alcohol actually causes violent crime and about the mechanism through which alcohol contributes to violent behavior. Alcohol use and attitudes toward drinking and drunkenness have varied greatly across time, with the periodic rise and fall of alcohol prohibition movements. After the last prohibition, which ended in ...